Now that you’re in a good mood, here’s a little more carbon info in honor of the Copenhagen climate talks.
Roughly 25 percent of carbon dioxide is absorbed by the world’s oceans. But the oceans’ capacity to do that may be decreasing, according to a recent study by researchers from Columbia University and NASA. The study indicates that the proportion of fossil fuel emissions oceans absorb may have declined by 10 percent since 2000.
The study, published in the journal Nature, estimates that the oceans now hold a third more industrial carbon—about 150 tons—than in the 1990s. “The more carbon dioxide you put in, the more acidic the ocean becomes, reducing its ability to hold CO2,” lead researcher Samar Khatiwala wrote in a statement. Faster emissions growth rates and changes in ocean temperature and circulation could also factor in why carbon absorption appears to be slowing.